A few people stand on the platform, ready to board a shinkansen (bullet train) at Shin-Osaka Station on Wednesday, the last day of the Golden Week holidays. Photo: KYODO
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Japan faces longer state of emergency, casting doubt on Olympics

76 Comments
By Stanley White and Yoshifumi Takemoto

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76 Comments
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No one wants the games except a few selfish athletes and a few entitled govt people who have their hands in others pockets.

Represent the people's wishes not yourselves for once , make the right choice NOW !

66 ( +74 / -8 )

Since the Olympics are largely funded by taxpayer yen, let’s see what the taxpayers get in return:

A torch relay that is closed to the public? Yes!

A great Olympic atmosphere in the host city and country: No!

Interactions with athletes and guests from all over the world: No!

Being able to watch top athletes perform at the venues: Probably not

Further straining the public funded healthcare system: Yes!

Even more debt caused by additional spread prevention measures: Yes!

Raising Japan‘s image in the rest of the world as the country that won the fight against COVID: Don’t even…

Looking at all the above, there is nothing to gain for the general public in holding the games.

49 ( +51 / -2 )

Ministry staff may be ‘out of town’ for the holiday.

“Calls by Reuters to Suga's office were not answered.” -

Yep. Just the answering machine: “We are sorry. Mr. Suga is unavailable.

If it is ‘urgent’, please send a fax. Thank you.”

45 ( +48 / -3 )

It is so sad. There was never a doubt about the extension beyond May 11th. Nobody believed “May 11th” from the outset. And I don’t believe May 25th either. Unless they give up on the Olympics. If they want the Olympics so bad, they’re going to make us suffer the emergency right on through. Maybe a week or two off here and there. What good are they anyway? Numbers down for a while. Up again, down again. Joke.

31 ( +33 / -2 )

Officials were leaning toward an extension of the measures in Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto and Hyogo 

Oh, this is highly regrettable...herr Bach is supposed to visit soon, can someone tell the spreadsheet entry guy to suppress the daily case count more efficiently?

30 ( +33 / -3 )

a move that could cast doubt on the planned Summer Olympics

Let's hope the doubters become more vocal and start demanding.

No vaccine, no Olympics!

26 ( +27 / -1 )

Every time I read a story about how the government are talking, discussing, planning and proposing, the football chants I used to sing back in England spring to mind.

”you don’t know what you’re doing”

24 ( +27 / -3 )

State of emergency? In Osaka? Since when?

Local McDonald's dine in area packed at 12.30pm.

Local Pachinko Parlor busy everyday of GW. Punters constantly smoking and vaping maskless outside.

"Eat-in" space at Aeon supermarket full at 3.30pm. Maskless oyajis boozing away, shouting while others sleeping.

24 ( +27 / -3 )

Japan covid 19 deaths 10,000

US 580,000

Covid-19 deaths per 100,000 population as of May 4, 2021

Japan: 8.23

Malaysia: 4.85

South Korea: 3.56

Taiwan: 0.05

Japan does not compare very well with its neighbours.

24 ( +30 / -6 )

@ Eisenach ask the restaurant, bar, hotel owners if they feel like they have won. You will get an earful I’m sure.

21 ( +23 / -2 )

SOE in Japan has done NOTHING to stop spreading the virus. Instead it just bankrupted small and medium businesses and created a huge inconvenience to everybody. I mean close shops and restaurants at 8 since Corona is active only after 8PM :)))))

But the cherry on the top is the decision to reduce trains during the rush hours to create even more packed environment for millions of commuters.... Briliant! Epic smartness!

21 ( +24 / -3 )

Maybe they can schedule the next State of Emergency for only 3 days.

That way, they can immediately start discussing if they want to extend it or not.

18 ( +21 / -3 )

Japan has had over a year to get on top of this, but they have procrastinated and are paying the price. What kind of idiot would introduce a national travel campaign during a viral pandemic?

18 ( +22 / -4 )

All government officials and their families should be the last in line to be vaccinated. Perhaps that would provide the proper incentive for them to get the ball rolling.

18 ( +18 / -0 )

So they should send me another million yen.

17 ( +21 / -4 )

Every time I read a story about how the government are talking, discussing, planning and proposing, the football chants I used to sing back in England spring to mind.

”you don’t know what you’re doing”

Nice one. I was thinking of the ‘What a waste of money’ chant.

17 ( +18 / -1 )

The Japanese government is completely incompetent, yet the voter turnout in my ward for the by-election a week and a half ago stood at 30.45%. If you're looking for someone to blame for this fiasco (whether it be vaccine distribution or the Olympics), it falls squarely on every single eligible voter who can't be bothered to cast their ballot, and those buffoons who keep supporting this revolving door of political dynasties and their cronies.

16 ( +18 / -2 )

Get ready for a huge announcement Friday about how they are going to make a decision in the future!

16 ( +17 / -1 )

...and all with the excuse of a virus infection with a mortality rate of 0.05%.

And people buy into this. It is sad.

Broken record still spinning?

Continue with having the Olympics come what may. Athletes around the world have been training very hard to excel in Tokyo, it would be selfish of Japan to thwart them of this opportunity.

‘Come what may’ isn’t a responsible decision on behalf of millions of people.

15 ( +17 / -2 )

Yes - no vaccinations - no olympics gets my vote. The eyes of the world are on you Suga san

13 ( +14 / -1 )

I knew this was just about money and not losing face when I saw low risk vaccinated overseas volunteers dropped in favour of local unvaccinated high risk volunteers who have to supply their own PPE.

This whole thing is a textbook example of how to totally mismanage an Olympic games event while pretending that all is well.

12 ( +13 / -1 )

Large department stores and cinemas were also shuttered, while spectators were banned from big sporting events.

This is really confusing me. Within the same big&populous -ku in Tokyo, there's one department store, owned by the Seven & I Holdings Co., that has stayed fully opened even during the SoE, yet all the other department stores in the area are closed, except for the supermarkets and pharmacies within them. The one that is open, is completely, fully open; toy stores, sunglass stores, restaurants, hair accessory stores, book stores,...everything, just like normal. How can they stay open, while the others are closed?

(Don't get me wrong, I fully support a strong SoE, and think they should close every other floor&store that doesn't sell necessities, like food & meds.)

11 ( +16 / -5 )

So NOW the games are in doubt!

The whole thing is money baby, money. It revolves around the $4.83 billion contract with NBC, most of which I understand was pre-paid. If the JIOC cancels the games they have to pay it back, if the IOC cancels it's their dime. Who blinks first?

11 ( +15 / -4 )

The games being in doubt isn't what worries me or people around me the most.

11 ( +11 / -0 )

Tokyo/Japan is going to be stuck in the Covid loop until at least 2025 thanks to Government inaction and trying to wish things away for the sake of the Olympics. We're in so deep now that only vaccination will drag Japan out of this mess.

That Olympics must be cancelled was obvious...LAST YEAR.

11 ( +12 / -1 )

"Tokyo 2021 will be celebration of humanity's resilience and global unity in overcoming COVID-19..."

Laughable nonsense.

Cancel this garbage outright, its over, except in the minds of total fools. Try and make some progress against this disaster that is getting WORSE worldwide by the day.

10 ( +13 / -3 )

thelonius Today 04:51 pm JST

a move that could cast doubt on the planned Summer Olympics

Let's hope the doubters become more vocal and start demanding.

No vaccine, no Olympics!

I'm with this guy , No Vaccine and No Olympics !! Best idea all day !

9 ( +21 / -12 )

If they'd imposed a lockdown early last year, we may not have needed three (and counting) half-hearted SOEs.

9 ( +12 / -3 )

Really? All under the premise of “we’re supporting small businesses” in distant prefectures when many governments and the locals have asked for folks from the metropolitan areas to hold off on visiting for now.

- Today 3:20pm “Flying in tomorrow. Will be nice if we can see Fuji from the air.”

A person who frequently ‘brags’ about their unnecessary, recreational travels across the country at every opportunity, both during the now well-known, problematic “GoTo” campaigns AND also, during the expressed SOE’s is not necessarily doing their part, are they?

9 ( +12 / -3 )

Cancel them. Save lives.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

That headline says it all: We're only concerned with whether or not the Olympics are held, not about the people.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

Yet another Covid article and no mention of the government's pathetic vaccination program. What is wrong with the media in this country?

9 ( +9 / -0 )

2022.

8 ( +11 / -3 )

Extending the SoE is pointless if you're just going to have the same lax recommendations that have failed with the last few iterations, i.e. asking people and businesses nicely not to go out/operate, and have companies continue to get away with not offering telework as an option, leading to people filing into packed train's every day.

And it certainly wont be worthwhile if testing as many people as possible isn't prioritised! Don't the government see that that what they've done in the past and even now isn't working? It's literally insane to keep trying EXACTLY the same methods and thinking they'll achieve a different outcome.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Euro DudeToday 06:46 pm JST

SOE in Japan has done NOTHING to stop spreading the virus. Instead it just bankrupted small and medium businesses and created a huge inconvenience to everybody. I mean close shops and restaurants at 8 since Corona is active only after 8PM :)))))

But the cherry on the top is the decision to reduce trains during the rush hours to create even more packed environment for millions of commuters.... Briliant! Epic smartness!

Totally agreed with you on this.

Some other Cherry Picking...shortening food store hours. Sure made food stores jammed pack. Shortened hours for everything except for Pachinko.

8 ( +13 / -5 )

So fully vaccinated people should stay home?

You keep saying that you’ve not received an inoculation, so this comment is irrelevant.

Notwithstanding this, you’ve not answered the original poster’s question.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

"Doctor, this treatment isn't working. I'm getting sicker by the day."

"Let's continue the treatment because I said so, and I get paid a lot to give you this treatment."

8 ( +8 / -0 )

half of tokyo were in Saitama over golden week infecting us and returning home. So I went into Tokyo!!

7 ( +11 / -4 )

Same garbage, different day. Start making moves already instead of not making any progress at all.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

"No vaccine, No games." Sounds like a fair proposal to me.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Option One: Have the games & infect/kill thousands.

Option Two: Cancel the games & thousands will Live.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Fewer than 3000 tests carried out in Tokyo.

That's the 3 day average. Likely is around 1500.

Osaka's hospital serious-case occupancy is up to 103%

https://covid19-osaka.info/en/

6 ( +6 / -0 )

i think techall has the right idea, but in addition to the money, it’s Japan, so potential public embarrassment makes it impossible to call off the games. If someone else calls them off, then of course Japan understands how difficult it is, and will be sympathetic.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Not forgetting how slow vaccine roll out is going.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

No vaccinations. No Olympics.

5 ( +11 / -6 )

Bjorn TomentionToday  04:09 pm JST

No one wants the games except a few selfish athletes and a few entitled govt people who have their hands in others pockets.

Represent the people's wishes not yourselves for once , make the right choice NOW !

this pandemic is nothing to be fooling with. Nobody caused it to happen, nobody is to blame for it. We have to stop hiding from the truth, we need to get vaccinated and to use our heads. Once the virus is over and has run its course we can resume everything business as usual. But we gotta use our heads and take precautions.

The Olympic Games were cancelled during the two World Wars. Thank God we're not having one now but if we delay the Tokyo Olympics to even next year - just ONE year, things should be better for all of us and the benefits that Tokyo will reap will be astronomical. Beyond belief. Guaranteed.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Fewer than 3000 tests carried out in Tokyo.

Shameful.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

My 70 year old mother-in-law just found out that she might be able to get her first shot in July.

Guess we aren't visiting Japan again this year, either.

It's Amateur Night over there.... yikes

5 ( +5 / -0 )

But today, it is said the SoE will be extended. So, what have the downsayers to say today ?

That's this article. The earlier article says it hasn't been decided.

It's obviously hasn't been decided, as they are not working until tomorrow. Nothing in Japan gets done on a weekend/holiday.

4 ( +8 / -4 )

State of emergencies in Japan are a joke! Apart from the restaurants closing at 8pm not much else happens. This time the bigger shopping malls were closed as well as alcohol ban in restaurants but this was more or else because of the extended national holidays called the Golden week ( the Government won’t have done this during usual work days ). So don’t expect much during the extended SOE and due to this the Olympic won’t be affected much! People are suffering from lack of income and instead of aiding its citizens by providing some financial stimulus the Government has wasted billions of yen on the Olympic!

4 ( +4 / -0 )

The SOE certainly has some effects, not sure if enough but it needs to be extended to prevent things from getting worst. Learning from the end of the previous SOE, which we kind of seen coming, what do you think Salarymen Kintaro will do has soon as SOE is lifted ? izakaya with his necktie around the head…

nothing will get better until vaccination take off seriously.

3 ( +8 / -5 )

The whole thing is money baby, money.

If it wasn't then everyone pro Olimpics is a psychopath!

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Japan's Olympic "report card" had been, "Must try harder", but now it's becoming clear to everyone except the heavily invested ostriches that Japan's Olympic dream is nowhere but "somewhere over the rainbow". In the meantime, the country now has its work cut out trying to prevent the worsening virus spread from spinning out of control. Where are the vaccines when we need them? Suga! Is anybody in there?

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Whatever.....

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Oh boy, a meeting to discuss extending a state of emergency that does...nothing.

Look, I am a proponent of lockdowns, and real state of emergency declarations during this pandemic. I have not left my house except to commute to work (which is probably riskier than anything else I could do quite frankly) at all this past year. I follow all the guidelines etc. If they were coming out tomorrow with a more strict lockdown that actually meant something, along with concrete vaccination plans and a cancellation of public events for the Olympics, sign me up.

But if you keep instituting this toothless SoE that does nothing but maybe hint at discouraging people from going out, you aren't going to see much change. Japan's approach to the states of emergency are the political equivalent of homeopathic medicine. Just the slightest trace of doing something.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Japan has an old person population crisis, so why not give free tickets to all the old people to watch the Olympics

End of two problems...

Maybe that was the plan all along ?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Techall, broadcasters pay only after the Olympics , not before but you are correct when you say it is a game of who blinks first between IOC and LOC.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

A lot of working age adults whose companies refuse to allow working remotely could have been vaccinated over this past week, had that been a priority, rather than vaccinating the elderly or spending time at home resting during a pandemic.

So many people just stayed at home -- they could have spent some of their holiday standing in line at at stadium somewhere, waiting to be vaccinated. It would have been a good use of downtime. What a missed opportunity yo increase safety for all!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

A lot of working age adults whose companies refuse to allow working remotely could have been vaccinated over this past week, had that been a priority, rather than vaccinating the elderly or spending time at home resting during a pandemic.

So many people just stayed at home -- they could have spent some of their holiday standing in line at at stadium somewhere, waiting to be vaccinated. It would have been a good use of downtime. What a missed opportunity yo increase safety for all!

7 days of GW in the Kanto area would only result in at most 70,000 people receiving a shot... of a population of 38 million.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Just freak'in vaccinate... start with a balance of who is eligible so that an even spread of the population can get at least the first dose. Focus on Tokyo if the Olympics are so important.

-2 ( +20 / -22 )

Not even Godzilla could stop these games, they are a done deal.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

2022

and what will happen to the world athletic championship in OREGON JULY 15–24, 2022.

is every other sporting event going to be moved down a year 2 years because of Toyko?

no theyve already stated if its canceled this year its canceled for good

-3 ( +5 / -8 )

If the Tokyo Olympics are cancelled, they should sue the Chinese government for compensation

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

@Thomas TankToday 10:08 pm JST

What kind of idiot would introduce a national travel campaign during a viral pandemic?

So glad they did! I had a great time!

Us too. It was awesome. And the photo ops. Wow. We could make perfect travel brochures.

-8 ( +2 / -10 )

a move that could cast doubt on the planned Summer Olympics.

I would consider this more likely to allow the Olympics to be held because case numbers will be held in check.

-10 ( +4 / -14 )

What kind of idiot would introduce a national travel campaign during a viral pandemic?

So glad they did! I had a great time!

-10 ( +1 / -11 )

S.I.

but some people prefer economic obliteration & ruin, mounting debts, generations of little businesses bankrupt, entire future generations saddled with debts of monolithic proportions, people losing their livelyhoods, jobs, retirements, sanity and the like. and thats just for starters.

...and all with the excuse of a virus infection with a mortality rate of 0.05%.

And people buy into this. It is sad.

-11 ( +7 / -18 )

So fully vaccinated people should stay home?

Would love to the opinions of the doctors and medical commentators here.

Fire away!

Flying in and out of Japan is not as hard as some people would want you to believe.

-11 ( +0 / -11 )

Fabulous opinions from obviously disgruntled and poor consumers.

We wish we could take you all along. but it is not happening.

-11 ( +1 / -12 )

These are the classic countermeasures of all countries, why should this site always be so unnecessarily pessimistic? have there been 4,000 infections out of 128 million people? What are we guys talking about? wake up a little.

-11 ( +0 / -11 )

@SnoweyHills:

So fully vaccinated people should stay home?

-15 ( +0 / -15 )

@Eisenac spot on.

but some people prefer economic obliteration & ruin, mounting debts, generations of little businesses bankrupt, entire future generations saddled with debts of monolithic proportions, people losing their livelyhoods, jobs, retirements, sanity and the like. and thats just for starters.

just... beyond sad.

-16 ( +5 / -21 )

Downsayers were saying that low number of tests and cases were on purpose to allow to lift the SoE as planned and also to fit with the Bach's visit to Japan.

But today, it is said the SoE will be extended. So, what have the downsayers to say today ?

-16 ( +2 / -18 )

Continue with having the Olympics come what may. Athletes around the world have been training very hard to excel in Tokyo, it would be selfish of Japan to thwart them of this opportunity.

-24 ( +3 / -27 )

If they would only test their own indigenous vaccine, that would solve many issues. The population is more than 98% not vaccinated so perfect to test new vaccines in clean samples.

-34 ( +5 / -39 )

"Raising Japan‘s image in the rest of the world as the country that won the fight against COVID: Don’t even…"

Japan covid 19 deaths 10,000

US 580,000

Japan recorded fewer deaths in 2020 for first time in 11 years

https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2021/02/23/national/coronavirus-japan-deaths-2020/

It looks like it won the fight to me.

-36 ( +8 / -44 )

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